Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: discovery/synthesis (who/when/where/citations) of estrogen & testosterone ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: discovery/synthesis (who/when/where/citations) of estrogen & testosterone
Category: Science > Biology
Asked by: sj1982-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 22 Jul 2006 09:47 PDT
Expires: 21 Aug 2006 09:47 PDT
Question ID: 748544
1. Who/when/where discovered estrogen? 
2. Who/when/where first synthesised estrogen?
3. Who/when/where discovered testosterone?
4. Who/when/where first syntehsised testosterone?

For all of the above, please give respectable references -- i.e.
peer-reviewed journals, or monographs/university-level textbooks.
Subject: Re: discovery/synthesis (who/when/where/citations) of estrogen & testosterone
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 23 Jul 2006 16:36 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Sj1982,

  I have found the discoverers you requested.As with many scientific
discoveries, some hormones "share" their discovery with several

   ?J.C. Collip, co-discoverer of insulin in 1922, was a Ph.D.
biochemist from the University of Toronto in 1916 and Chair of the
Department of Endocrinology at McGill University in 1929 when he and
his medical research team were approached by W.J. McKenna of Ayerst,
McKenna & Harrison to carry out studies on placental hormones. Their
research led to the production in 1930 of Emmenin, the first orally
active estrogen. This discovery was but the first of a series of
research steps that eventually lead to the discovery of the estrogenic
complex, Premarin, that Ayerst laboratories began marketing worldwide
in 1941.?

??Emmenin,? the name given to this hormone, became the first orally
active estrogen. The year was 1930.?

?Peter, Clarification: I want the date that someone said "Eureka! 
This is estrogen, and it's a female hormone."
If it was said at all it may well have been said in Dutch! The Dutch
company Organon makes a claim to being first in its History page
at:<broken link, the English version, in cached form is below>
?The hormone estrogen is described for the first time, in both the
Tetewop and Organon laboratories. 1925?

"1925 The hormone estrogen is described for the first time, in both the
Tetewop and Organon laboratories."

The Dutch version of the same page uses the Dutch word "oestrogeen"
<also another broken link. A cached version can be found below, but it
is in Dutch>

?I cannot say conclusively but it would appear it was "described"
initially in 1925 by the Dutch, named "Estrogen" in 1927 by Parke,
Davis & company and then isolated in 1929 by both Doisy in the USA and
by Butenandt in Germany. Just to muddy the waters it appears Doisy was
researching this area back in 1923 when he co-authored the following:
Allen E and Doisy EA (1923) An ovarian hormone: Preliminary reports on
its localization, extraction and partial purification and action in
test animals. JAMA  81: 810-821. An article entitled "Basic guide to
the mechanisms of antiestrogen action" by J I MacGregor and V C Jordan
(Pharmacol Rev. 1998 Jun;50(2):151-96) states:"The target
site-specific actions of estrogen on the reproductive system had been
well known since the work of Allen and Doisy (1923), who identified
and assayed ovarian "estrus-stimulating" hormones".

   ?The search for this "female principle" eventually led to the
discovery of the different estrogens. In 1929, the first estrogen,
"estrone," was isolated and crystallized. One of the researchers,
Edward Doisy, later won a Nobel Prize for this work, and, for the
first time, a natural part of the life cycle was transformed into a
treatable medical disease.?

1929 - The female reproductive hormone progesterone is discovered.

1935 - The male sex hormone testosterone is discovered.

1943 - Synthetic hormone supplements available.

Synthetic Estrogen

  ?In 1938, Sir E. Charles Dodd formulated DES, the first orally
active, synthetic estrogen. This (nonsteroidal) estrogen, estimated to
be five times as potent as estradiol, was very inexpensive and simple
to synthesize. Because it was not patented, the developing
pharmaceutical industry quickly began worldwide production; it was
ultimately marketed under more than two hundred brand names for a wide
range of indications. DES underwent very limited toxicological
testing, a fate common to pharmaceutical products at that time.?

   ?DES (diethylstilbestrol) is a synthetic estrogen drug developed in
England in 1938 as the first synthetic version of estrogen.?

   DES (diethylstilbestrol) , was the the first synthetic estrogen.
?In 1939, DES, the first orally active artificial estrogen ever
developed, was produced and then given to several million pregnant
women between 1940-71? ?Menopause used to be considered "a normal
stage in a woman's life when menstruation ceased," but eventually,
after the discovery of estrogen in 1929.?

Testosterone and Synthetic Testosterone
   ?In 1889, Charles Edouard Brown-Sequard, a French physiologist
concocted a 'rejuvenating therapy for the body and mind'. His bizarre
elixir was a liquid extract made from the testicles of guinea pigs and
dogs. Brown-Sequard claimed his juicy liquide testiculair increased
his physical strength and intellectual prowess, relieved his
constipation, and get this, lengthened the arc of his urine.?

?In the 1920s and 1930s, experimentation culminated in the discovery
of testosterone. In 1918, Leo L. Stanley, resident physician of San
Quentin State Prison in California, transplanted testicles removed
from recently executed prisoners into inmates, some of whom claimed
that they recovered sexual potency.?

?In 1920, a lack of human material led to the substitution of boar,
deer, goat, and ram testes. In the 1920s, Russian?French surgeon Serge
Voronoff made a fortune transplanting monkey glands into aging men.
Throughout this period, researchers tested the androgenic effects of
substances isolated from large quantities of animal testicles and from
human urine. (Adolf Butenandt isolated milligram amounts of
androsterone from 15,000 L of policemen?s urine.) Finally, Karoly G.
David, Ernst Laqueur, and colleagues isolated crystalline testosterone
from testicles and published the results in 1935. Within a few months,
groups led by Butenandt and G. Hanisch (funded by Schering Corp. in
Berlin), and Leopold Ruzicka and A. Wettstein of Ciba, developed
synthetic methods of preparing testosterone. Butenandt and Ruzicka
shared the 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this achievement.?

?1940: Ernest Laqueur, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, for his
contributions to the physiological, pharmacological, and clinical
knowledge of the male sex hormones, and in particular for his
investigations of sex hormones that resulted in the discovery of

?Use of this assay enabled Koch's development in 1929 of a procedure
to produce an extract of potent activity from bull's testicles. This
was followed by a complete purification in 1935 by Laquer. A year
later, Ruzicka achieved the synthesis of the identical compound,
testosterone, from cholesterol, as did Butenandt and Hanisch.3

In 1936, Kochakian succeeded in demonstrating that use of testosterone
or testosterone acetate reduced urinary nitrogen excretion of the
castrated dog and increased body weight.4 Kenyon later showed that
testosterone was a potent anabolic substance in man as well.?

   ?The modern field of endocrinology emerged at the turn of the 20th
century as researchers working on ?internal secretions? (termed
hormones in 1905 by the British scientist Ernest Henry Starling)
explored how those compounds act as physiological regulators. One of
the early experiments was reported in 1889 by French physiologist
Charles Edouard Brown-Séquard who attributed increases in his physical
strength and intellectual energy to self-injections of an extract from
the testicles of dogs and guinea pigs (Medvei, 1982). The continued
use of crude (possibly inactive) gonadal preparations continued into
the 1930s, to be gradually replaced with periodic injections of
testosterone. In 1939 Leopold Ruzicka and Adolf Butenandt shared the
Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their work on isolating and synthesizing
testosterone and other reproductive hormones (Malmström and Andersson,

 ?Years of often extraordinary investigations culminated in the
production of synthetic testosterone in 1935. The success of Butenandt
and Ruzicka earnt them the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And so, the
modern persona of this hefty hormone was launched.?

I hope this has helped you out. Please request an Answer Clarification
if anything is unclear, and allow me to respond, before you rate.

Sincerely, Crabcakes

Search Terms
Estrogen was discovered
Synthetic estrogen was discovered
Organon 1925 + oestrogeen
Testosterone was discovered
Synthetic testosterone
sj1982-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00

There are no comments at this time.

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy